Mossad to track down those behind triple bomb attacks in Kenya

November 28, 2002

* So much for respect for democracy: Five dead in Fatah attack on Likud polling station



1. "Children covered in blood"
2. The terrorists sprayed passengers waiting for the bus
3. "Mossad to track down 'al-Qaida' assailants" (Ananova, Nov. 28, 2002)
4. "Witness: Children covered in blood" ( & other agencies, Nov. 28, 2002)
5. PLO assisted by duty-free stores at Nairobi airport (Israel resource news agency)
6. "Five dead in Fatah attack on Likud polling station" (Middle East Newsline, Nov. 28, 2002).
7. "Uprising a mistake, top Arafat deputy says" (AP, Nov. 27, 2002)
8. "Palestinian Authority memo proposes explosives factory" (World Tribune, Nov. 27, 2002)
9. "Terrorist's family: We are proud of him" (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2002)


I attach seven items, with a summary and notes first for those who don't have time to read them in full. (For further articles connected to the Mombassa bomb attacks, please see here.)

-- Tom Gross



1. "Mossad to track down 'al-Qaida' assailants" (Ananova, November 28, 2002)

Israel's Mossad spy agency has been given the task of finding those behind today's triple suicide bomb attack aimed at Israeli tourists in Kenya that killed at least 11, including two Israeli children, and the seemingly coordinated attack on a passenger aircraft in Kenya carrying 271 Israelis.


2. "Witness: Children covered in blood" ( and other agencies, November 28, 2002)

Israeli doctors on vacation provide immediate treatment to many of the injured, thereby reducing the number of casualties.


3. The Israel resource news agency points out that the U.S. House of Representatives' "Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare" found that the duty-free stores at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, are owned by a PLO financial front company, and have provided the PLO "a base for the procurement of forged travel documents and airline tickets." [Terror experts add: the fact that responsibility for both today's Kenya attacks was claimed almost immediately in Beirut suggests that this is part of the ongoing co-operation between al-Qaeda, Fatah, Hizbullah and Hamas to try and provoke an international response by Israel, thereby widening the conflict to make it harder for the U.S. to win Arab backing for an attack on Iraq.]



4. "Five dead in Fatah attack on Likud polling station" (Middle East Newsline, November 28, 2002)

Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization claims responsibility for the submachine attack that killed five Israelis and injured dozens more at a polling station, and then at a nearby bus stop, during elections for the leadership of Israel's Likud Party. The terrorists sprayed passengers waiting at the town's main bus station with bullets before being shot dead. One escaped. Three children of former Israeli Foreign minister David Levy are among the injured. [Attacks of this kind continue to be funded in part by the four million dollars given every week by the EU to Yasser Arafat, according to anti-Arafat democratic forces in Ramallah. Since the Western media seems uninterested in reporting this, it will be left to historians to examine the ongoing European collaboration for the present round of suicide murders of Jewish women and children.]


5. "Uprising a mistake, top Arafat deputy says" (Associated Press, November 27, 2002)

Yasser Arafat's number two, Mahmoud Abbas, in his bluntest criticism of Arafat yet, said that the armed uprising against Israel has been a mistake for the Palestinians and must be stopped.


6. "Palestinian Authority memo proposes explosives factory" (World Tribune, November 27, 2002)

The Palestinian Authority plans to establish a factory for the mass production of military-grade explosives, including chemicals required for such explosives as TNT, RDX and RETN, for possible use in terror attacks.


7. "Terrorist's family: We are proud of him" (The Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2002)

Both parents of the suicide bomber who murdered 11 Israelis, including four children and six women, and injured dozens more on a Jerusalem bus last week, say they "thank god" that their son should be chosen for this "holy" task.

-- Tom Gross



Mossad to track down 'al-Qaida' assailants
November 28, 2002

Ariel Sharon has put the Mossad spy agency in charge of investigating the twin attacks on Israeli tourists in Kenya. Israeli officials say the attacks bear the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

Mossad has a long record of tracking terror suspects the agency hunted down and killed nearly all the Palestinians believed responsible for kidnapping and killing 11 Israelis during the Munich Olympics in 1972.

"We will have to wait for further information and intelligence to see where the tracks lead to and then Israel will make decisions and it will not make any rash decisions," a spokesman for Mr Sharon said.

The Israeli Prime Minister's spokesman added al-Qaida's past activities in east Africa and the manner of the attacks pointed to the group. Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not know whether Palestinian groups were involved, but that Palestinian militants have been trying to get shoulder-held missiles from Iran and the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah.

Mr Netanyahu said the missile attack was a "very dangerous escalation of terror." "It means that terror organizations and the regimes behind them are able to arm themselves with weapons which can cause mass casualties anywhere and everywhere," Mr Netanyahu said.

"Today, they're firing the missiles at Israeli planes, tomorrow they'll fire missiles at American planes, British planes, every country's aircraft. Therefore, there can be no compromise with terror."



Witness: Children covered in blood
Kenyans, Israelis among casualties and other agencies
November 28, 2002

Eyewitnesses have described how they found bomb victims, including children, covered in blood and screaming moments after the suicide bomb attack on a Kenyan hotel that killed at least 11 people.

A woman who gave her name as Neima told Israeli radio by phone: "People were cut up in the legs, arms, all over their bodies. Everything was burned up."

She said she had just arrived at the hotel with a group of tourists from Israel when the hotel lobby was shaken by the blast.

Kenyan journalist Victor Mwasi told CNN he had seen seven bodies, four burned beyond recognition. He said seven people had been taken to hospital after the attack in the lobby of Mombasa Paradise Hotel.

"There's smoke and there's fire," a Mombasa resident said from outside the hotel as ambulances sped away.

Witnesses spoke of survivors staggering from the resort hotel to the nearby beach and screaming for water, Reuters reported.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle apparently crashed through the security barrier outside the hotel, according to The Associated Press. "I heard a loud explosion," an Israeli hotel guest, identified only as Rami, told Israel TV's Channel Two.

An Israeli doctor at the hotel in Kenya told Israel Radio he personally treated 15 wounded at the hotel, CNN reported. From Kenya, Elbert Kadosh told Israel TV that he arrived with a group of Israeli tourists at the hotel about 10 minutes before the blast. He said Kenyans and Israelis were among the casualties.

At least 46 people had been taken to local hospitals, according to Zubeida Dadani, director of patient services at Aga Kan hospital in Mombasa. Three were in critical condition, but out of danger, she told CNN.

Steven Odero, a waiter at the hotel, said a green all-terrain vehicle approached the gate of the hotel and crashed through a barrier just before the explosion. Its passengers had been arguing with guards at the hotel before breaking through the barrier, Odero told AP.

At the same, a small aircraft flew overhead and appeared to drop something near the hotel's reception, he said. Hotel staff also saw a light plane circling over the hotel at the time of the explosion, he said. Three packages, which staff said were bombs, were dropped from the plane, one landing in the hotel pool, one on the roof and one in the ocean, he said.

Israeli Aharon Hammel, who owns a hotel near the Paradise, told Israel Army Radio that the hotel was badly damaged.

"There is a lot of smoke," Hammel said. "The whole hotel is burned totally, both wings, the lobby and everything, it's all burned."

A hotel guest, Dr. Nimrod Grissarov, said he had arrived on Thursday morning with a group from the Israeli town of Beersheba, with children celebrating a Bar Mitzva. He said at least 15 Israelis were wounded.

"I can tell you personally I treated three victims whom I would classify as moderately wounded... they had head injuries, a kidney injury," he told Israeli Army Radio, AP reported.

He said there were several people with limb injuries, and he said one woman may have died. Some of the wounded were taken to a small hospital nearby.

The casualty unit manager at the city's main hospital, the Aga Khan hospital, told Reuters by telephone he had received casualties from the blast. "They are all non-Kenyan and have different injuries. Some have bruises, others have deep cuts and some have metal objects stuck in their bodies."

El AL has cancelled all flights from foreign airports in light of the events in Kenya this morning, Israel Radio reported.



Israel resource news agency

The US House of Representatives' "Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare" reported on October 4, 1991 that the PLO's traffic in arms and drugs has been assisted by airport- related investment, citing the PLO owned duty-free stores at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, providing the PLO "a base for the procurement of forged travel documents and airline tickets."

Staffers of that same task force continue to report that the PLO continues to operate from those same duty free shops in 2002.



Five dead in Fatah attack on Likud polling station
Middle East Newsline
November 28, 2002

The ruling Fatah movement led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat killed five people and injured 23 in a shooting attack on a polling station during elections for the leadership of Israel's Likud Party.

At least three Fatah attackers, armed with submachine guns, fired indiscriminately throughout the northern town of Bet Shean on Thursday. The attack appeared to be focused on a building that housed a polling station for the Likud Party.

Five Israelis were killed and 23 others were injured. Two of the Fatah gunmen were killed by fire from Israeli forces and a third was believed to have escaped. One of the two was said to be wearing a suicide explosive belt that had not yet detonated.

The Fatah-controlled Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, three Israelis were killed in a suicide [homicide] attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in the Kenyan coastal resort town of Mombassa. Another 80 people were injured.

[Added from other reports: Attacks of this kind continue to be funded in part by the four million dollars given every week by the EU to Yasser Arafat, according to anti-Arafat democratic forces in Ramallah.]



Uprising a mistake, top Arafat deputy says
The Associated Press (breaking news)
November 27, 2002

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's top deputy said the armed uprising against Israel has been a mistake for the Palestinians and must be stopped, declaring it had held up Palestinian independence and let to a reoccupation of West Bank cities by Israeli troops.

The blunt comments by Mahmoud Abbas, one of several potential successors to the politically weakened Mr. Arafat, are the harshest criticisms a senior Palestinian figure has levelled at militants since violence erupted in September 2000.

The remarks come at a time when extremists are pressing ahead with bombings and shootings, while ordinary Palestinians are increasingly split on whether the uprising is moving them closer to or driving them further from Palestinian statehood. The pointed statements were seen as a milestone in opening a public debate Palestinians have previously conducted only in private.

"Many people diverted the uprising from its natural path and embarked on a path we can't handle, with the use of weapons ... such as mortars, grenades and shooting from houses and populated areas," Mr. Abbas said in a closed-door meeting with activists of Mr. Arafat's Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 24.

"If we do a calculation of the gains and losses ... we will see that without any doubt is that what we lost was big and what we gained was small," he said.

"We should ... ask ourselves where we are headed, not by beating ourselves up, but by reviewing the mistakes we have made."

Mr. Abbas, widely known as Abu Mazen, was en route to Doha, Qatar, on Wednesday and was not available for comment. The Associated Press obtained a full transcript of the private meeting from Mr. Abbas' office on Wednesday after Al Hayat, an Arabic-language daily based in London, published excerpts Tuesday. Those excerpts were reprinted Wednesday in the Palestinian daily Al Quds.

For two years, Palestinian leaders and the public have strongly endorsed the intefadeh, or uprising, and public debate has been minimal, despite heavy losses.

The fighting has put off any prospect of Palestinian independence in the near future, has left the economy in shambles and led to the reoccupation of most West Bank towns by Israeli troops, in retaliation for Palestinian attacks.

Mr. Arafat, 73, did not respond to Mr. Abbas' remarks.

No. 2 in the Palestine Liberation Organization leadership, Mr. Abbas has been regarded as a possible successor to Mr. Arafat. Mr. Abbas, 67, is best known as a behind-the-scenes negotiator who rarely makes public speeches despite his high-ranking position. He has been an influential Palestinian figure for decades, though some younger and more radical Palestinians view him as too moderate and too willing to compromise with the Israelis.

The Palestinian uprising began less than three months after lengthy negotiations at Camp David, Md., where Israel's moderate Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a state that would have included the Gaza Strip, most of the West Bank and a foothold in east Jerusalem.



Palestinian Authority memo proposes explosives factory
World Tribune
November 27, 2002

The Palestinian Authority plans to establish a factory for the mass production of military-grade explosives, according to a memo by a Agriculture Ministry official dated Oct. 21, 2002.

Israeli officials said captured PA documents revealed that Palestinian security forces plan a facility to manufacture vital chemicals required for such military-grade explosives as TNT, RDX amd RETN.

The document seized from the PA's Preventive Security Apparatus headquarters at Tel Al Hawa earlier this month envisioned that the factory would be at least 100 square meters and have the capacity to produce 15 tons of nitric acid a year.

The memorandum suggested that the PA Agriculture Ministry remain in charge of the project. The author of the memorandum was Mohammed Anwar Bardawil, an agronomist at the Agriculture Ministry official who has served as a bombmaker for the PPS.

The ministry has imported nitric acid, contained in fertilizers. Israel has banned the transfer of nitric acid to the PA areas since mid-2001, Middle East Newsline reported.

The memo urged that Palestinian security officers be kept out of the facility to retain secrecy. The PPS has been supplying the ruling Fatah movement and the Islamic opposition with explosives and weapons for the war against Israel.

"In view of the importance of the acid for the production of strategic materials, and in view of the difficulties in acquiring them under the current conditions, and in line with your request that this be available, I recommend the factory for its production," Bardawil said. "In order to retain the secrecy of the project, I recommend that they [employees] will not be identified as belonging to the PPS, and that I determine the qualifications required for this job."

The PPS has taken responsibility for the production of explosives, officials said. They said the agency has determined that a factory to produce nitric acid would require $18,500 for equipment and space. The acid is regarded as the most important chemical in weapons-grade explosives and the plan called for the plant to operate 24 hours a day.

Officials said the facility would aim to resolve the shortage of explosive material by Palestinian insurgency forces. Until now, the bombs assembled by Palestinians were made from chemicals obtained from Israel.

The captured PA document, dated Oct. 21, 2002, termed the establishment of the nitric acid facility as strategic. The document, a memorandum addressed to PPS inspector-general Samir Mashrawi, said the factory could be begin operations within 40 days of receiving the required funding.

The memorandum said an investment of $30,000 would double production capacity to 30 tons of acid annually.



Terrorist's family: We are proud of him
The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, AP
November 21, 2002

The parents of Na'el Abu Hilayel, the terrorist who blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem Thursday, said they are proud of their son for carrying out the suicide attack. Many of their neighbors agreed, even though they expressed fears the IDF is planning to re-enter the Bethlehem district.

"I thanked God when I heard that my son had died in an operation for the sake of God and the homeland," said the father, Azmi, who works as a vegetable merchant in Bethlehem.

Abu Hilayel said he was unaware his son was a member of Hamas. "He never spoke of his political affiliations and I didn't know that he had joined the armed wing of Hamas," he said. "But the truth is that there is no difference between one Palestinian group and the other. We are all one people fighting against the common enemy the Jews."

He added: "There is no difference between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The war of all the Palestinian factions against the Zionist enemy is a holy war. May God bless him and all the other heroic martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of God, Islam, and the homeland."

The terrorist's mother said: "Of course I'm proud of my son and all the martyrs."

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.